FUTA: STUDENTS WIN $30,000 TONY ELUMELU GRANT
Six Futarians have placed the University in good stead after they made the winner’s list of the 2019 Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) grant announced on March 22. Each winner gets $5000 (#1,803,850).
The six students were among 3,052 winners adjudged to have submitted innovating and commendable business ideas among 216,000 applications from across the continent.
The FUTA entrepreneurs: Alayande Abiola, Bright Williams, Bolaji Oluwadunsin Precious, Oluwaseunnla Adebisi, Timothy Gbadedesin and Taslim Salaudeen will each get a non-refundable $5000 seed capital, access to mentors, and a 12 weeks’ business training programme which is focused on the needs of African entrepreneurs.
Oluwaseunnla Adelusi –a graduate– is the brain behind Qhawe Innovation Hub, a pioneer tech hub and co-working space in Anambra state which is aimed at facilitating digitalization in the country.
She said: “The entrepreneurial trait in me spurred up in the course of a debate trip to Ghana in 2018.TEF is a big opportunity for my business idea and it’s a platform to learn especially during the course of the 12-weeks training which will prepare me for challenges ahead. It is also a platform to collaborate with people of like minds.”
Another graduate, Bright Williams, lauded TEF as a platform helps people with business to actualize their dreams. He said TEF is like a sort of traction that keeps investors and customers interested and TEF is kick-starter traction for him.
Bright said: “The business idea that led me to securing a grant fund from TEF was the creation of a device that tells logistics companies where their trucks are and what they are doing thereby discouraging theft and providing the sort of operational data and analytics that help managers and executives do their jobs on the fly.”
Williams added that he intends to transmit the product from the prototype stage to the MVP by partnering with a logistics company.
Bolaji Oluwadunsin Precious is a 500 level student of biology. Her brand, Dunsin Craft Collection (DCC) is targeted at using creativity to advance fashion and style. It specializes in using Ankara fabrics to make several products, such as handbags, backpacks, accessories, souvenirs, sandals and notepads.
She said the grant will help her 2-years old business scale beyond its present operations, before adding: “TEF is a great platform that helps [Small and medium-sized enterprises] to kick off or scale their business. I feel very opportune and overwhelmed by the grant and there is a future plan for the business.”
The TEF grant scheme is an empowerment initiative of Tony O. Elumelu, CON, and its target is the transformation of entrepreneurship in Africa to shape the continent for the next generation.